Best-selling journalist Antony Loewenstein trav­els across Afghanistan, Pakistan, Haiti, Papua New Guinea, the United States, Britain, Greece, and Australia to witness the reality of disaster capitalism. He discovers how companies such as G4S, Serco, and Halliburton cash in on or­ganized misery in a hidden world of privatized detention centers, militarized private security, aid profiteering, and destructive mining.

Disaster has become big business. Talking to immigrants stuck in limbo in Britain or visiting immigration centers in America, Loewenstein maps the secret networks formed to help cor­porations bleed what profits they can from economic crisis. He debates with Western contractors in Afghanistan, meets the locals in post-earthquake Haiti, and in Greece finds a country at the mercy of vulture profiteers. In Papua New Guinea, he sees a local commu­nity forced to rebel against predatory resource companies and NGOs.

What emerges through Loewenstein’s re­porting is a dark history of multinational corpo­rations that, with the aid of media and political elites, have grown more powerful than national governments. In the twenty-first century, the vulnerable have become the world’s most valu­able commodity. Disaster Capitalism is published by Verso in 2015 and in paperback in January 2017.

Profits_of_doom_cover_350Vulture capitalism has seen the corporation become more powerful than the state, and yet its work is often done by stealth, supported by political and media elites. The result is privatised wars and outsourced detention centres, mining companies pillaging precious land in developing countries and struggling nations invaded by NGOs and the corporate dollar. Best-selling journalist Antony Loewenstein travels to Afghanistan, Pakistan, Haiti, Papua New Guinea and across Australia to witness the reality of this largely hidden world of privatised detention centres, outsourced aid, destructive resource wars and militarized private security. Who is involved and why? Can it be stopped? What are the alternatives in a globalised world? Profits of Doom, published in 2013 and released in an updated edition in 2014, challenges the fundamentals of our unsustainable way of life and the money-making imperatives driving it. It is released in an updated edition in 2014.
forgodssakecover Four Australian thinkers come together to ask and answer the big questions, such as: What is the nature of the universe? Doesn't religion cause most of the conflict in the world? And Where do we find hope?   We are introduced to different belief systems – Judaism, Christianity, Islam – and to the argument that atheism, like organised religion, has its own compelling logic. And we gain insight into the life events that led each author to their current position.   Jane Caro flirted briefly with spiritual belief, inspired by 19th century literary heroines such as Elizabeth Gaskell and the Bronte sisters. Antony Loewenstein is proudly culturally, yet unconventionally, Jewish. Simon Smart is firmly and resolutely a Christian, but one who has had some of his most profound spiritual moments while surfing. Rachel Woodlock grew up in the alternative embrace of Baha'i belief but became entranced by its older parent religion, Islam.   Provocative, informative and passionately argued, For God's Sakepublished in 2013, encourages us to accept religious differences, but to also challenge more vigorously the beliefs that create discord.  
After Zionism, published in 2012 and 2013 with co-editor Ahmed Moor, brings together some of the world s leading thinkers on the Middle East question to dissect the century-long conflict between Zionism and the Palestinians, and to explore possible forms of a one-state solution. Time has run out for the two-state solution because of the unending and permanent Jewish colonization of Palestinian land. Although deep mistrust exists on both sides of the conflict, growing numbers of Palestinians and Israelis, Jews and Arabs are working together to forge a different, unified future. Progressive and realist ideas are at last gaining a foothold in the discourse, while those influenced by the colonial era have been discredited or abandoned. Whatever the political solution may be, Palestinian and Israeli lives are intertwined, enmeshed, irrevocably. This daring and timely collection includes essays by Omar Barghouti, Jonathan Cook, Joseph Dana, Jeremiah Haber, Jeff Halper, Ghada Karmi, Antony Loewenstein, Saree Makdisi, John Mearsheimer, Ahmed Moor, Ilan Pappe, Sara Roy and Phil Weiss.
The 2008 financial crisis opened the door for a bold, progressive social movement. But despite widespread revulsion at economic inequity and political opportunism, after the crash very little has changed. Has the Left failed? What agenda should progressives pursue? And what alternatives do they dare to imagine? Left Turn, published by Melbourne University Press in 2012 and co-edited with Jeff Sparrow, is aimed at the many Australians disillusioned with the political process. It includes passionate and challenging contributions by a diverse range of writers, thinkers and politicians, from Larissa Berendht and Christos Tsiolkas to Guy Rundle and Lee Rhiannon. These essays offer perspectives largely excluded from the mainstream. They offer possibilities for resistance and for a renewed struggle for change.
The Blogging Revolution, released by Melbourne University Press in 2008, is a colourful and revelatory account of bloggers around the globe why live and write under repressive regimes - many of them risking their lives in doing so. Antony Loewenstein's travels take him to private parties in Iran and Egypt, internet cafes in Saudi Arabia and Damascus, to the homes of Cuban dissidents and into newspaper offices in Beijing, where he discovers the ways in which the internet is threatening the ruld of governments. Through first-hand investigations, he reveals the complicity of Western multinationals in assisting the restriction of information in these countries and how bloggers are leading the charge for change. The blogging revolution is a superb examination about the nature of repression in the twenty-first century and the power of brave individuals to overcome it. It was released in an updated edition in 2011, post the Arab revolutions, and an updated Indian print version in 2011.
The best-selling book on the Israel/Palestine conflict, My Israel Question - on Jewish identity, the Zionist lobby, reporting from Palestine and future Middle East directions - was released by Melbourne University Press in 2006. A new, updated edition was released in 2007 (and reprinted again in 2008). The book was short-listed for the 2007 NSW Premier's Literary Award. Another fully updated, third edition was published in 2009. It was released in all e-book formats in 2011. An updated and translated edition was published in Arabic in 2012.

Australians demanding our government defend citizens in Palestine

The following article by Pip Hinman appears in this week’s Green Left Weekly:

Bridget Chappell, an Australian solidarity worker in the Palestinian territory of the West Bank, was arrested by occupying Israeli forces on February 7 and threatened with deportation for simply engaging in peaceful protests alongside Palestinians.

Solidarity activists have asked Australia’s foreign affairs department to intervene in support of Chappell to allow her to continue her work in the West Bank.

Chappell was arrested in a pre-dawn raid for alleged “visa irregularities” — even though she had a valid bridging visa.

At the time, Chappell’s arrest featured prominently in the Australian media. But since the Israeli Supreme Court declared her arrest illegal and released them on bail on February 9 the case has faded from view.

Chappell is fighting to be able to continue her work in the West Bank with the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) — a Palestinian-led movement committed to resisting the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land using non-violent direct action.

She is also fighting attempts by the Israeli government to have her deported — the fate of other ISM volunteers.

Israel’s “war on protest” — as Israeli daily Haaretz put it — is intended to undermine a joint non-violent campaign by international activists and Palestinian villagers challenging a land grab by Israel as it builds the separation wall on farmland in the West Bank.

The arrests are in response to those organising protests against the wall.

The last major confrontation between Israel and the ISM resulted in deaths and injuries of international activists at the hands of the Israeli army. The horrendous case of US ISM volunteer Rachel Corrie, who was run down and killed by an army bulldozer in 2003 as she attempted to stop a home demolition in Gaza, is the most well known.

On March 10, the Haifa District Court began hearing eyewitness testimonies in a civil lawsuit filed by Corrie’s family against the state of Israel for her unlawful killing.

Chappell told Green Left Weekly that she is very worried about being able stay. She said Israel does not want people, like herself, bearing witness to Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestine, and its continued settlement building.

She is concerned that Australia’s consular assistance has been minimal. Given the Australian government’s close relationship with Israel, a number of people have signed a letter, drafted by the Sydney Stop the War Coalition, urging the foreign affairs department to assist Chappell.

The letter states that Chappell was not participating in “illegal riots”, as claimed by the arresting officials, and that she “was certainly not involved in the dirty business of scamming passports to assassinate political leaders – as agents of the Israeli state have allegedly been recently caught out doing”.

The statement concluded: “We would like to know what Australian consular officials are doing to assist Ms Chappell. She should be allowed to return to the West Bank; she should not be deported.”

Signatories include (organisations listed for identification purposes only): John Pilger; Antony Loewenstein; Archdeacon Philip Newman; Dr Jake Lynch (Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, Sydney University), Peter Slezak (School of History amd Philosophy, UNSW), Vivienne Porzsolt (Jews Against the Occupation), Cathy Peters (Marrickville Greens councillor), Ned Curthoys (Australian National University), Peter Boyle (Socialist Alliance) and Sonja Karkar (Australians for Palestine).

[You can read the full letter, and add your name, at Pip Hinman is an activist in the Sydney Stop the War Coalition.]

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